I read with continued dismay another article about binary XML and the bizarre Fast Infoset project. Tim Bray must be crying in bed at night over Sun’s continued persistence that ASN.1 should have been the data interchange format for the world. It lost, XML won and XML works. Go and solve other more useful problems. You only have to look at the failure of XML 1.1, as it split the XML standard into incompatible versions to draw the same analogy with binary XML. CPUs continue to fall in price and if needs dictate, XML processing in hardware will take off to solve the issues of processing time. Not yet another proprietary data format.
Just as bad is the W3Cs continued mismanagement by creating working groups such as the Binary Characterization Working Group to trying and determine all the known uses cases that a binary format could apply to. Given that they “own” XML this is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It also is interesting to observe that very little of significance has emerged from the WC3 for around three years now. XQuery, although significant, is going to turn up very late to the party blaming traffic. XML 1.1 has caused everyone to run around like headless chickens wondering how to sort out the mess where, the smallest of updates can cause the maximum breaking change. And XML Schema is such a confused child no one quite knows how to approach it, for fear of having to spend years understanding its complex irrational behavior. The W3C needs to desperately find some inspirational individuals, nay dictators, to drive some independent innovation if it intends to “ship” anything significant in the next five years.